April 25, 2006
HOUSTON - The University of Houston softball team pounded out a season-best 21 hits and scored a season-high 13 runs in game two to complete a doubleheader sweep over Grambling State Tuesday afternoon at the Cougar Softball Stadium.
The Cougars (35-18) pushed its winning steak to seven games and have strung together four consecutive shutouts rolling past Grambling State 8-0 and 13-0.
"We continued our strong team effort today," head coach Kyla Holas said. "Offensively, we were more aggressive than we were yesterday and really came together in the second game."
Seven different Cougars tallied multi-hit games in game two led by Jessica Valis, Elaina Nordstrom, Christa Raley and Angel Shamblin, who each racked up three hits apiece. The trio of hits for each player matched career highs.
Houston opened the scoring with five runs on six hits in the first inning. Katie Bush and Nordstrom slapped back-to-back RBI-doubles, while Laura Durham and Jamie Adams completed the frame with RBI-singles.
The Cougars broke the game open sending 11 batters to the plate and adding six more runs in the third inning. Durham started the frame by cranking a home run to left centerfield extending the lead to 6-0.
Jaci Gonzalez got into the act with a RBI-triple and came around to score on a Valis RBI-single. Two more runs came across on Nordstrom's second double of the game. Shamblin tacked on a RBI-single to complete the inning with Houston ahead 11-0.
Shamblin completed her 3-for-4 day driving home two more runs on a RBI-double in the fourth inning. During the frame, Carla Kennimer capitalized on her first career at-bat ripping a single through the right side joining other Cougar pitchers Jenny Johnson and Jamie Falco with career 1.000 batting averages.
Angel Shamblin improved to 14-6 firing a two-hitter. The reigning Conference USA Pitcher of the Week native struck out eight batters against one walk.
"We were just trying to go out here and continue to string together strong performances no matter who our competition was," Valis said. "These games (against Texas Southern and Grambling State) were about working on our game."
Houston used a five-run first inning in the opening game to take control of the game early. Nordstrom put the Cougars ahead 2-0 on a single to right center, while Durham smacked a single down the left field line to make it 3-0. Courtney Spittler capped the frame with a two-run single en route to her first career multi-hit game. She would add another single in the third inning. Brooke Johnson tacked on a RBI-single in the third to extend the lead to 5-0.
Katie Bush ended game one with a walkoff single in the fifth inning scoring Spittler and Johnson for the final margin of 8-0.
Crystal Briscoe moved to 3-0 on the season setting a new career-high with 12 strikeouts and allowed only two hits on the afternoon.
Houston returns to Conference USA action with another pivotal weekend series at UAB. The two teams will play a Saturday doubleheader followed by a single-game Sunday. First pitch on both days is slated for 1pm.
This afternoon was the first-ever meeting between Houston and Grambling State on the softball diamond... The Cougars complete its second longest homestand of the season with a 7-0 record ... After repeating her batting lineups in her last two C-USA weekends, head coach Kyla Holas used a different lineup in her last four games ... Holas has now used 45 different combinations in 54 games ... Holas is now four wins away from reaching 200 career victories ... Houston improves to 32-7 this season when scoring more than three wins and to 26-6 when scoring first ... The Cougars have also won 16 of 20 shutouts, while the UH pitching staff has not allowed a run in its last 22.2 innings of work ... The 23 wins at the Cougar Softball Stadium are a program-record ... The previous mark was 21 wins set during the 2005 season ... Crystal Briscoe set a new career-high with 12 strikeouts ... Her previous career high came during the 2004 season at St. Louis ... Jessica Valis has hit safely in 14 of last 16 games ... Her three hits in game two match a career-high ... Of Valis' team-leading 63 hits, 46 of them have not left the infield ... The Shiner, Texas product passed Arelis Ferreris 60-hits set during the 2003 season for No. 5 all-time for hits in a season ... Valis now has 63 hits and is tied with Leslie Seay mark set during the 2002 season ... She is one hit shy of Kristen Glowacz's marks during the 2003 and 2005 seasons for No. 2 all-time for hits in a season ... Valis also picked up a pair of stolen bases and has swiped a base in five of her last six games ... Her 24 stolen bases are one shy of Arelis Ferries career mark of 25 for No. 4 in program history ... Katie Bush has scored a run in five of her last six games ... Bush picked up her ninth and 10th muti-hit games ... Her 47 hits pass Arelis Ferreris freshman-mark off 44 hits for No. 4 all-time for a freshman in a single season ... Bush is now eight hits shy of catching Kristin Glowacz for the No. 3 spot ... Elaina Nordstrom has reached base in 48 of 53 games this season ... She has hit safely in five of her last six games and has picked up a RBI in four of her last five outings ... Her five hits on the afternoon moved her past Kristen Glowacz's freshman-mark of 55 hits for No. 2 on that list ... She trails teammate Jessica Valis by six hits for the top spot held by a freshman ... Laura Durham has hit safely and picked up a RBI in four consecutive games ... Durham joins Angel Shamblin as the fourth and fifth Cougars to pass the 40-hit plateau this season ... Shamblin matched a career-best three hits and three RBIs in game two ... Jaci Gonzalez has reached base in 23 of 33 games when in the batting lineup ... Gonzalez has hit safely seven of her last nine games and added her fourth multi-hit outing ... With her two hits on the afternoon, the San Antonio, Texas, native is now one hit shy of reaching Michelle Keith's (2002-2005) 119 career hits for No. 5 all-time in program history ... Six of Brooke Johnson's eight hits this season have produced runs ... Christa Raley matched a career-high with three hits in game two ... Laurie Wagner has hit safely in three of her last four games since returning to the starting lineup ... Courtney Spittler made her second start of the season in right field ... Spittler has hit safely in all three games and picked up her first career multi-hit outing in game one.